Monday, April 22, 2013

What is Alan Brennert reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Alan Brennert, author of Palisades Park.

His entry begins:
I read a lot of nonfiction as research for my books, but when I want to read nonfiction for pleasure I am never disappointed by the work of Marion Meade. Her most recent book is Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney, which as a longtime fan of West’s work I devoured in several sittings. I think it’s the best biography of West I’ve read, and McKenney’s life (she inspired her sister’s book and play My Sister Eileen) is...[read on]
About Palisades Park, from the publisher:
Growing up in the 1930s, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey—especially for seven-year-old Antoinette, who horrifies her mother by insisting on the unladylike nickname Toni, and her brother, Jack. Toni helps her parents, Eddie and Adele Stopka, at the stand where they sell homemade French fries amid the roar of the Cyclone roller coaster. There is also the lure of the world’s biggest salt-water pool, complete with divers whose astonishing stunts inspire Toni, despite her mother's insistence that girls can't be high divers.

But a family of dreamers doesn't always share the same dreams, and then the world intrudes: There's the Great Depression, and Pearl Harbor, which hits home in ways that will split the family apart; and perils like fire and race riots in the park. Both Eddie and Jack face the dangers of war, while Adele has ambitions of her own—and Toni is determined to take on a very different kind of danger in impossible feats as a high diver. Yet they are all drawn back to each other—and to Palisades Park—until the park closes forever in 1971.

Evocative and moving, with the trademark brilliance at transforming historical events into irresistible fiction that made Alan Brennert’s Moloka'i and Honolulu into reading group favorites, Palisades Park takes us back to a time when life seemed simpler—except, of course, it wasn't.
Learn more about the book and author at Alan Brennert's website.

Writers Read: Alan Brennert.

--Marshal Zeringue